As business owners, managers, operators, and marketers, we understand why things may not go as planned.
Business can be unpredictable. Teams are large. There are a slew of moving parts involved in getting something done.
- The delivery didn’t come in.
- The version that was shipped had a typo.
- The gal who knows that answer is out sick today.
- Our location doesn’t have a ladder tall enough.
- The district manager has been out of town.
- Our mop handle broke.
- We didn’t expect this much demand.
Those of us running the business consider these legitimate reasons “why” something is the way it is or why something wasn’t done. We accept the situation. “Someone dropped the ball. It’s a bummer, but what are ya gonna do?”
When a business doesn’t deliver what it promised you, you don’t care why. You just want them to follow through and fix it a.s.a.p. So, why do we think our customers care about our excuses?
Over-promising and under-delivering to your customers today will make them someone else’s customer tomorrow. Your customers don’t care about the delivery, the typo, employee illness, the short ladder, the vacation schedule, the condition of your cleaning supplies, or your inability to forecast.
Yours is not the first company to experience these problems, and they will happen again in the future. So, why aren’t you prepared with a “Plan B” or a quick fix? And why do you pass the consequences onto your customer? They shouldn’t know the difference.
A lesson I learned early in my career is that all businesses have problems. A company’s ability to shield the customer from behind-the-scenes glitches—and maintain a high-quality, consistent experience—that makes it great.
Customers just want:
- the product you promised
- easy-to-read signage
- enough knowledgeable staff available
- a well-lit store
- someone responsible to complain to
- a clean location
- the advertised product that they drove to your shop for to be in stock
Stop accepting and caring about the excuses—because your customers don’t want to hear them—and focus on fixing the problem.